youth unemployment figures remain high

Galloway MP Russell Brown has expressed his deep concern that local youth unemployment figures remain above the national average and overall unemployment in the region remains largely unchanged.

Figures released this week by the Office of National Statistics show that the Job Seekers Allowance claimant count in Dumfries and Galloway remained at the same level as last month (2.8%) with only a very marginal fall from 2600 to 2565. Although Youth unemployment fell from 695 to 670, it remains 0.9% above the Scottish average and 1.2% above the UK average. Long term youth unemployment (those unemployed for more than a year) also showed little change with the total number falling from 150 to 140 but the local average of 1.3% is higher than the Scottish average of 1% and UK average of 0.9%.

Commenting on the figures, Russell Brown said: “These figures make for worrying reading locally. While the UK Coalition Government is going around claiming their economic plans are working, local people know they are not. I have held two jobs summits which have come up with local solutions and I hope the proposals led by the Council’s Economic Development team will be agreed and we can start to see inroads made into youth and long term unemployment in the region”.

Leader of the Labour Group Ronnie Nicholson said: “These figures show that the Council’s job plan as outlined in our draft budget is desperately need to help local people. We have held public consultations throughout the region on the budget and at every one of them the public have voiced their full support for these plans. They all know someone who is affected by current economic situation and want them to receive help. I hope all councillors will back the budget in February and we can get on with the job of helping those people in our region who find themselves out of work.”